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November 04, 2006



I think Bill Simmons' comarison of the Yankees to the Colts is unfairly inaccurate. What he is really comparing is Manning to the Yankees. And with this, I agree. The great Yankee teams are hated by Bostonians because they were great. They were fundamentally better than other teams, executed hitting, pitching and fielding better than any other team. If you wanted to watch what a great team should look like in baseball, you watched the Yanks.

The same is true for Manning, except for him being an individual, not a team. Watching Manning use up every second of the play clock, only to snap with the clock BETWEEN 0 and 1, is the way offensive football should be played. He reads defenses better than any coach, and successful or not, we don't see him on the sideline hammin' it up for the camera, or TOing it in some coaches ear. He runs over, grabs the print-outs of the previous series, and studies. If Simmons, or anyone for that matter, can't see the irony of a football player studying, then he or they are idiots. But I guess Simmons already established that.

See, Manning breaks stereotypes, and has reinvented what it means to be great in football. He has all the old school traits: toughness, gritty resolve, leadership; and a few new school, Manning-esque traits: intelligence, work ethic, and humble greatness. Simmons, you hate Manning not for his exposure in the media, but his exposing every other quaterback in the league as being less than great. Even Brady's rings and movie star persona take a back seat to Manning's reinvention of the quaterback position. Brady may be the great gamer, but Manning will be remembered as a greater quaterback, rings or not.

But Simmons article isn't titled "I Hate Manning," it's "I Hate the Colts." Don't worry Simmons, so does everyone. I don't buy into to this idea that everyone is touting the Colts' greatness. I watch sports all day, and all I hear every week is how horrible our defense is, and the implication that we are one loss away from losing another chance. Of course what I never hear is that we are scrappy, or that we are the single most injured team in football, and have been since week one. So what is it that you hate about the Colts, besides the fact that they have the greatest quarterback ever on the squad? Is it the humble, hand-the-ball-to-the-ref Harrison? Is it Reggie Wayne exibiting a growth in maturity, that showed his preferance for the Harrisons over the Owens of the world? Maybe it's Dungy, who has showed you don't have to yell in a Parcells son of a bitch style to get your players to buy into the philosophy. Or maybe it is the way owner Jim Irsay runs the best small market team of all time.

I know what it is: Manning has reinvented the quaterback, Harrison the reciever, Dungy the defense, Polian the front office, Irsay the crisis-prone ownership, and Freeney the pass rusher. The Colts have reinvented football. They out smart you and out play you. They chew the clock and make sure they have the ball last, with the score tied. They make the game more fun for both teams, by raising up the score, and making turnovers so exiciting that they decide many games. They expose inept, overpaid coaches and players. They out class the opponent. No one wants to swing a helmet at the Colts when the lose, because the Colts didn't cheap shot them, or bad mouth them. No, watch the end of a Colts game sometime. The players walk over and shake hands, exchange hugs, and wish their brothers in the football community good luck.

Sorry Simmons, you thought football was about hating the other team, and I think the Colts showed you it is really about whether or not you believe in yourself. Simmons doesn't love his team, he hates losing. And he will hate it again, Sunday night.

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